Friday, July 20, 2007

Weekend Plans: Waiting, Reading, Crying...?

Like many Muggles around the world, the Valca home has wiped its calendar free for the next few days.

Leave has been taken, and plans have been made for the final installment of J.K.Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

This afternoon Alvis and I swung by the grocery store and picked up groceries for the next three days so we don't have to leave the house. Lots of "breakfast" food-fare, coffee, tea, sandwich making materials, a few "home-cooked" fuller dinners are planned, but able to be prepared in 30-minutes or less.

We are hunkering down for an event (that with the recent rains) seems almost like we are in a hurricane-watch of sorts.

Last year we attended a midnight book release party at a Barnes and Nobles. This year Lavie is a bit physically under the weather, so Alvis agreed we would just hop over to the local supermarket which promises to have a stock and pop back home.

We have successfully made the Valca home a "spoilers-free" zone and have looked with distain on the rounds of leaks popping up on the web of the book, plot points, and body counts. We have even eschewed reading any early book-reviews on Deathly Hallows.

Spoiler-Safe HP Web Watch

So our web-activity has been self-limited this week, and especially today. Only the following websites have been visited related to Harry Potter on release night:

MuggleNet - Our first and foremost haunt for all information and entertainment Harry Potter.

The Leaky Cauldron - Also known simply as "Leaky," this site provides a great counterpoint to MuggleNet.

J.K.Rowling Official Site - Enough said.

The End A blog for fans of Harry Potter - This "Live" blog hosted by the Houston Chronicle's will be providing play-by-play developments of the book release and each chapter as it is read by the blogger. I hope this provides a fun "local" forum for Houston-area HP fans.

Just A Snitch of Time Left!

In a few more hours we will know the fate of Harry, Hermione, Ron and all the others who inhabit the magical world of our hearts and minds, shared with us by quite an amazing author.

From J.K.R's official website she writes a note to her fans:

Within hours you will know what happens to Harry, Ron, Hermione and the rest in their final adventure. All the secrets I have been carrying around for so long will be yours, too, and those who guessed correctly will be vindicated, and those who guessed wrongly will not, I hope, be too disappointed! As for me, I feel a heady mixture of excitement, nerves and relief. 'Deathly Hallows' remains my favourite of the series, even after several re-reads; I cannot wait to share it with the readers who have stuck with me through six previous books.

Which predictions will come true? Will we be happy? Will we be upset? Will will be amazed or disappointed?

Valca Plan for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

1) At 5:50pm (CST) assemble in the study and (hopefully) listen to a live webcast hosted by Scholastic. J.K.Rowling will be reading from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at the London release of the book.

Update: Couldn't get the link via to work at all at first. Just getting HTML code page load. So I opened up Internet Explorer 7, went to this web-proxy site, and entered in the page again, via the proxy service. BINGO! Clicked on the "live reading" header and got the page and webcast stream running in a Windows Media Player plugin. We are listening to J.K.R. as I type this! Ooooooo! Sooooo exciting watching her sitting there reading in front of all the fans! It was a short steam-cast. I'm sure it will be up on YouTube or re-streams soon. We so can't wait to read it ourselves in the next few hours!

Update 2: Re-stream now posted and working normally: Watch J.K.R. Reading from Deathly Hallows in London release party.

2) 7-8pm - Eat dinner and get some last minute rest time.

3) 12:00am - Run down to the corner grocery store to grab our copy.

4) 12:15am - Back home, grab coffee and set out finger food snacks.

5) 12:30am - Begin reading out loud to family as far as we can go and stay awake...probably the first three or four chapters.

6) 7:00am - Wake up, freshen up, make full breakfast together (more coffee!) and then settle down to pick up where we left off.

We plan to take periodic breaks to stretch and discuss the plot progress, give my voice a rest, eat, etc.

If all goes well and we stay focused, hopefully we will have the book wrapped up late Sunday night or some time on Monday at the latest.

Through the Veil

We feel a bit like we are standing before the Veiled arches in the Department of Mysteries where Sirius fell through a few books earlier and getting ready to (willing) step through. Fear, concern, excitement, hesitance mixed with impulsiveness. We can hear voices whispering to us...calling us across the threshold. What lays on the other side of this final novel?

Years of family speculation, theorizing, reading and re-reading the Harry Potter novels lay behind us. Only 784 pages left that veil us from Harry's future.

It's about time to step through, together as a family.

Hopefully we won't be disappointed. I'm sure we will be entertained, surprised, and amazed.

I'll let you know once we get to the other side.


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